So you’ve written your novel, you’ve done some revising and you’ve shown it to a few people. But you find the more people you show it to, the more feedback you receive. This should be a good thing. After all beta readers are there to tell you where your story needs work. But how many beta readers can you manage at one time?
Recently, I got feedback from two amazing published authors (as part of The Do The Right Thing for Nashville auctions). I poured over all their comments and implemented 98% of them. I felt really good but then I came back from the conference where I was told to change the setting from college to boarding school. This of course necessitated a lot of rewrites. And now, I’m struggling to implement the suggestions from the conference and my newest beta readers.
I think the problem is I’m losing my confidence. Every beta reader has something else that bothers them, something else that isn’t working for them, something I need to fix. But all these fixes are moving me away from my polished version. I’ve added a new scene in the first 10 pages, it feels rough. The other scenes have been revised hundreds of times and I don’t know how to bring this one up to par.
I know feedback is a great thing, and I’m really grateful to have it. But suddenly I can’t differentiate what works and what doesn’t. Generally, if 2 to 3 people point out the same thing, I know I have to look at it and work on. But sometimes one person is pointing out certain things and the other people aren’t. Who do I go with there? Maybe I’m just putting too much pressure on myself. LOL. I have been known to do that.
Rachelle Gardner had a great post on how to deal with contradictory feedback. I enjoyed reading it and it helped give me some perspective.
How much feedback you feel you need? Can you ever have too much feedback? How do you deal with the times when you don’t know what to add, what to delete, and what to revise?